going to bury cat5e.. how deep?

August 15, 2005 at 15:17:18
Specs: XP PRO SP2, 1 GB

we are connected out house to our business. 288 feet away. i have googled this a bit.. but just wanted to check and make sure facts are straight. i read that the limit for such a line should be no more than 100 Meters... (why do they sell it by 1000 feet? to cut your own?)
do you need to encase it? pvc or anything? i read you can just bury it... i am in minnesota.. way up north, on the tip... we get COLD winters...
i read all you need to go is 8inches down...
is this deep enough?

should i go in a sraight line... or should i cut across driveway/parkinglot... and have it run in the grass area (off of where cars park) or go straight.. the shortest distance... right under the parkinglot?

what happends if you go over 300 feet?
if i go straight it will be about 270FT.. if i go around the driveway.. it will be a very very close to 300FT if not over a bit...

one more thing... digging the hole...
is ditch-witch the only way to go?
is there anything like a special saw that can just cut through the earth? like a wheelbarrow-saw type thingy...
any ideas on how to dig?

thanks for any and all help!!!!
wish me luck!


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August 15, 2005 at 15:56:05

You don't have any questions do you?

Doesn't a 100 meters = around 330 feet?

Do you like using a shovel?

Do you want the possibilty if it getting wet if the sheathing is nicked or cut?

Can i think of more questions?

Is this a computer forum or a home improvement show?

Rule #1 Good computers don't go down.
Rule #2 There is no such thing as a good computer.

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August 15, 2005 at 16:07:43

i thought it was a place where people help eachother out...
sounds like ricky needs a spanking on his face.

any real help would be much appreciated..

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August 15, 2005 at 16:16:58

Some people do think for themselves.

Others just want all the answers given to them.

If you would remit a bank cheque for $1000 US, I will be glad to provide all your answers.

No flame pj, just playing 'cause it hurt when you slapped me.

BTW this still is a computer technology-oriented forum.

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

Rule #1 Good computers don't go down.
Rule #2 There is no such thing as a good computer.

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Related Solutions

August 15, 2005 at 16:34:30

it was only a love-slap...
i know it is..
i just thougth maybe someone would know something off the top of their head and say.. NO dont do that.. you can.. should work fine... YES, do it.. i did, works great...
i know it could get cut.. and wet (the line in the ground) is that common? would it last 5 years? 3 months?
i know there are MANY ifs.. and maybes...

i did google.. and i read the same thing.. 8 inches... make it under 330...

i love giving out answers if i know them!
i thought others might as well


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August 15, 2005 at 17:18:21

You shouldn't directly bury regular CAT5. You should find a direct burial version. If you want to use regular cable I would recommend plastic conduit. Either way I would run a spare for future use.

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August 15, 2005 at 19:26:30

100 metres (328 feet) is the max length for Cat5 but I highly recommend you not exceed 90 metres as attenuation can begin over that distance and degrade the signal.

Depth doesn't matter. Bury it 100 feet down if you want....but don't forget when you're computing total length of your cable that if you go down, you also have to come back up and both of those changes are added into the total length of the line.

ie: if you're covering 288 feet and you go down 6'....add 12' to total length of cable so you have a total of 300'....plus, add 2 or 3 feet to each end so you have some slack to play with.

I would highly recommend you use PVC pipe or something like it if possible for a couple of reasons. One, protection from the elements as someone else mentioned above (ie: water on a cracked casing is not good). Two, if you need to pull another cable in the future, having ready conduit simplifies doing so. NOTE: wizards advice was good, pull one or two extras in case of future need.

You'll need a long enough fish tape to make the pull. I also highly recommend you pull a piece of twine along with the wires and tie it at both ends in case you need to pull more cable in the future......with the twine in place, no fish tape is needed.

You're way south of me down there in Minnesota....I live in northern Alberta. Frost goes down about 6' come winter, you would probably want to put your cable below that depth, in fact, I recommend it. Frost could break the PVC and possibly wreck the casing on the cable.

Last but not least...If possible, you might want to go with a fibre optic cable between buildings as you can have much longer distance between points. From the sounds of it, you're already pushing the limits of Cat5 even taking the shortest route.

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August 15, 2005 at 19:51:24

One word. Wireless.

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August 15, 2005 at 22:01:03

thanks for all your help you guys...
geez curt.. 6'!? yikes...

what kind of cat5 would you use to bury?
alll the posts i read was with cat5 (many of which were in PVC) but other posts just said bury it sraight in the ground...

if i were to go the wireless route.. what would be the smartest?
i just dont want anything on the lodge itself... its a historic lodge, built in the 1920's... and antannas... and dishes just do not fit, nor do i want to see it on there.
(naniboujou.com) is the address if you care.. i did the website.. yaaa...

im familiar with wifi... somewhat... for in the home anyhow.. but about beaming it.. how would i go about doing that...
ill google it some more.. but if anyone knows any slick ways of doing this wireless (without anything on the outside of the lodge) let me know...

thanks again you guys
sorry if this post doesnt make much sense..
its been a LONGG day...


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August 16, 2005 at 05:14:10

Well, I'm not a big fan of wireless myself. I know it's very popular with home users these days but there's a reason financial institutions don't use it. Wireless is a lot easier to hack into than a hard wired network. Having said that, it is an option and only you can decide on whether or not you want to go that route. Before you do, I highly recommend you take a look at the different types of security available for wireless and learn a little about them. Then do some research on how to crack the security. Then at least you'll have a decent idea what type of security you'll want to use and what to stay away from.

You don't have to bury it 6' down. However, like I said, frost goes down almost that far and when it thaws, can cause movement in the earth. If you've ever seen a farmer out picking rocks in a field he's picked them in before now you know why he's doing it again, and again and again.

Again, fibre is a very viable option. The max segment length is a lot longer than Cat5 (ie: 100BaseFX Full-duplex Multimode fibre - Length: 2000m or 2km). While more expensive than Cat5 cabling, fibre as you can see would cover the distance how ever you want to cover it without any trouble. There are different types of fibre available and each have different costs associated with them. Again, if you are interested, do some research on what's available and what all else you may need to make it work with that type (ie: media converters etc).

If it were me, I'd probably go with Cat5e. I'd also use conduit...likely 1" PVC or something like it and a trencher to bury the conduit. I wouldn't bury just the cable. Sure you can do that but if there's a crack in the casing, or one ever forms from say, frost, well, you'll be replacing it. Also, there are critters that live underground that might possibly gnaw on it or try to dig through it which would again lead to replacing it.

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August 17, 2005 at 14:12:08

ok, what about this cat5 stuff ive heard about... (http://www.americantechsupply.com/chromatic_out.html)

ive talked to a couple people who have just burried it alone.. just plain cat5e...

anyone heard of this stuff before?

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August 17, 2005 at 15:16:20

Fiber is the way to go in the long run as you would be able to do a lot more with it, A little pricey but seems I saw a roll of 6 strand multi mode on e-bay today for less than a hundred dollars not a bad price, non the less when you go to run the lines due as suggested and use schedule 40 electric conduit (light gray in color) and is meant for direct burial as well it satisfies the National Electric Codes for the work you describe, as an installer I'll give you a trick of the trade, there is no need to try and fish the line with a tape as there are different ways to get a dragline in with a vacuum cleaner, two quick ways I know how to do it are using whats called a parachute which is nothing more than a plastic sandwich bag tied to some jet line and the other is sorry to say called a kotex in the trade sized to fit the pipe, best way I can think to describe it its kind of like a spool of thread that has a small amount of foam on each end that is there to help when you vac it in and with it you can either push it down using the exhaust from the vac or drawing it in with the suction side of the vac if you go that route you will need to use the small string attached to it to draw in a larger dragline before you make your pull....always works as long as the pipe is nice and clean and has no water in it however should that be the case the day you go to do it the parachute will work its way around debris or any water that may be laying in the pipe, one other quick note if I remember right the total "segment" length is 100 meters 318’ or so that has to include any length of patch cables you may need to use, you can no doubt find people who say you can run a length greater than that and it will work, well all I can say is that I am one of those people who have done it however it was very marginal as to its performance, that being said I think if I were you Fiber is probably your best route as has been mentioned and with it comes a bit more of an install price but instead of something that may end up being hit or miss with UTP there is no chance of design limits in your case if you go with glass…..just one more thing if you do go with fiber don’t pull it from the outside jacket of the cable what you need to do is strip off about 3 feet of the jacket cut the strands of fiber out and what you will be left with are some very light and fluffy Kevlar threads that is what you want to use in order to pull the fiber in as that is what it was meant for at the time of manufacturing. Here are a couple links you may have not yet come across


post back how things work out in order to better help the next guy like you that comes along……..Later

Keep the old stuff running

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August 17, 2005 at 17:25:28

thanks linux...
if i were to go fiber optic.. what kind of switch to i need?
i was going to have one in our basement of our house..and one in the crawlspace at the lodge..
i was going to get a Netgear FS108NA Switch (two of them)
how do you go about converting fiber to the RJ45 that would normally plug into the switch?

thanks again everyone!

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August 18, 2005 at 06:50:07

Your selected switch “Netgear FS108NA” looks to be a good one, what you need now is called a “Media Converter or Transceiver” depending on who made it and what they call it but for now lets go with “M.C.” this is actually a very inexpensive piece of equipment all things considered “under a hundred each if all that you would need is 10 mega bit speed
As with everything else as you move up so does the price, this is where you need to make the call, if all you are looking to do is surf the web and perhaps some file transfers once in a while 10 meg is all you may need and bear in mind that as time goes by and your needs may change upgrading is pretty smooth and simple, below are some links you may want to poke around on , the one for Fiberdyne seems on the surface to be what you may be looking for, the only draw back is it is a 4 port switch you can however simply add another small switch or even a hub where needed to expand the link it does however fit the need as an MC and switch in one box. It seems to me that you are well on your way the only thing I can see not yet addressed is the termination of the Fiber and what style it maybe your basic choices are either ST or SC and you should have that nailed down before ordering equipment. I will be glad to help you with that as well however it is another kettle of fish in itself. Post back any more questions or info as you see fit……Later

Rough Idea Of Layout Here
This Maybe The One You Want
Something May Be Here
Converters Under $60.00

Keep the old stuff running

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August 18, 2005 at 10:38:56

LOL....I had forgotten about the kotex as we never use them where I'm working now. ;)

We generally use a parachute or balloon when possible but we have a lot of long conduit runs with many turns in them (90 degree, 45 degree etc etc) and we've found this can prevent either from working very well. Which usually leads to having to get out the fish tape. In most cases, due to it being existing conduit and cabling someone with a half an ounce of brains pulled twine along with the cable so as to make future pulls just that much simpler. I recommend doing the same thing if/when you pull your fibre in case of future cable pulls in the same conduit.

Linux is absolutely correct about using schedule 40 electric conduit. It is the best solution. You had mentioned PVC previously so I stuck with it too. I would also recommend using that electric conduit. One thing to note. Keep your conduit run as straight as humanly possible to make the cable pull as easy as possible.

You might also want to have a quick look at preterminated fibre online. I'll warn you though, it's pricey. But if you don't know how to terminate fibre and don't have the proper equipment this may be the right solution for you. Not to mention you won't be picking tiny pieces of glass out of your fingers later...a hazard of terminating fibre optic cable.

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